Engaging the Private Sector to Combat HIV and AIDS

Photo of a woman in a warehouse
Benoit Marquet

Public-private partnerships can serve several purposes, such as providing HIV and AIDS prevention services, treatment and care for HIV-positive individuals and care and support for orphans and other vulnerable children. Other more programmatic purposes aim to create jobs and provide skills training for HIV-affected individuals, broaden the base of private sector partners engaged in public health efforts and strengthen national AIDS policies in host countries. Non-profit, religious, business and political organizations may partner with government agencies like USAID to increase the likelihood of each entity achieving its mission and to amplify their reach. No two partnerships are identical, but they all share a common feature: Each uses its own distinct set of combined resources to fill a well-defined need. In doing so, these partnerships are able to help people who are at risk of HIV and AIDS, living with the disease or otherwise affected by it.

Photo of children in Namibia receiving a daily cup of nutritious yogurt
A public-private partnership launched by USAID is allowing these children in Namibia to receive a daily cup of nutritious yogurt, coupled with HIV and AIDS prevention education.
Mary Jordan/USAID

USAID’s Response

As part of its endeavor to fulfill the need for quality HIV and AIDS services, USAID – in cooperation with PEPFAR – designs and enters into public-private partnerships in developing countries.

Maintaining successful HIV and AIDS partnerships that have a real impact is key to stemming the epidemic. With this in mind, USAID embodies the international development belief that a commitment to local ownership is the best way to support host countries’ investments in their futures. For this reason, USAID enters into public-private partnerships using local resources in an effort to maintain programs in the long-term.

Through public-private partnerships, host governments gain access to varied networks, partnerships and knowledge, which can inform and fortify the systems and institutions they have in place. Host governments can also help to ensure that joint initiatives are appropriate to the needs and culture of the country. In these ways, governments can participate in the development of services that are effective, enduring and ultimately owned by the country. Another advantage to public-private partnerships is that their effects often have influence outside their original scope, such as increased understanding of finances and supply chain logistics. Public-private partnerships play a pivotal role in country ownership by creating a bridge between the public and private sectors.

Photo of an Ethiopian warehouse

Jiro Ose/SCMS

Current Programmatic Highlightgs

USAID partners with many companies on a broad range of initiatives such as Pfizer’s Global Health Fellows program. In this effort, Pfizer contributes its most valuable asset to HIV and AIDS elimination: its employees. Many companies have personnel who specialize in marketing, logistics, supply chain, finance and manufacturing. With the right guidance and assistance, companies like Pfizer can apply their in-house expertise to enhancing the HIV and AIDS response.

In addition to Pfizer’s Global Health Fellows program, Standard Bank has collaborated with USAID to loan its personnel and expertise in financial management and reporting to local U.S. Government-funded organizations and governments in sub-Saharan Africa.